- Fast-food CEOs have been slammed for making exponentially more than workers at their companies.
- Public companies are now required to report the ratio between the salaries of the company’s CEO and its “median” worker.
- At McDonald’s, the CEO makes 3,101 times as much as the median worker, while Starbucks‘ CEO makes 1,049 times the average employee.
- Here is how some of the biggest names in fast food stack up.
As fast-food workers fight to make $US15 an hour, many CEOs have been slammed for their multimillion-dollar salaries.
Last year, the Securities and Exchange Committee made it mandatory for public companies to disclose the ratio of pay between their chief executive and “median” worker.
Companies often include a number of caveats in these filings. At most fast-food companies, the “median” worker – as determined by pay – is not a full-time worker, meaning that they likely work roughly 20 to 25 hours a week. It is difficult to directly compare fast-food rivals, as many mega-chains are franchised, meaning most in-store workers do not actually work directly for the company and therefore would not be included in calculations.
Further, CEOs typically are compensated in bonuses and stock on top of their base salary. For example, 90% of McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook’s compensation is directly tied to the company’s performance.
All caveats aside, the gap between CEO and the average worker is stark. For every $US1 the average Starbucks worker made in 2018, CEO Kevin Johnson made $US1,049 – and the gap was even greater at other fast-food industry giants.
Here is how 12 of the biggest names in fast food stack up when it comes to CEO-to-median worker pay.
12. Dunkin’ Brands (Dunkin’ Doughnuts, Baskin Robbins)
Ratio: 48.4 to 1
CEO pay: $US5,349,292
Median worker pay: $US110,471
Dunkin’ analysed the pay of full-time, part-time, and temporary employees as of December 30, 2017 at its corporate offices as well as Dunkin’ Doughnuts and Baskin-Robbins chains.
11. Dine Brands (IHOP, Applebee’s)
Ratio: 64 to 1
CEO pay: $US7,754,880
Median worker pay: $US121,200
As a primarily franchised company, Dine Brands determined the median employee in 2017 based on the salaries of 487 workers in the US.
Ratio: 132 to 1
CEO pay: $US2,761,084
Median worker pay: $US20,976
In 2017, CEO Charlie Morrison made 132 times the median pay of Wingstop employees.
9. Restaurant Brands International (Burger King, Popeyes, Tim Hortons)
Ratio: 202 to 1
CEO pay: $4,152,266
Median worker pay: $US20,504.58
As of the end of December 2017, Restaurant Brands International reported that its “employee population for pay ratio disclosure purposes consisted of approximately 4,692 individuals working in locations around the world.”
8. Brinker International (Chilli’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy)
Ratio: 271 to 1
CEO pay: $US5,445,226
Median worker pay: $US20,092
Brinker International CEO Wyman Roberts additionally received a one-time grant of stock options related to his performance in fiscal 2018, valued at $US1,373,503, that was not included in the calculation of the pay ratio.
7. Jack in the Box
Ratio: 337 to 1
CEO pay: $US5,043,921
Average worker pay: $US14,968
Jack in the Box’s 2018 median employee was “a restaurant Team Member who worked an average of 21.4 hours per week.”
Ratio: 461 to 1
CEO pay: $US7,939,727
Median worker pay: $US17,226
“Based on total cash compensation, our median employee was identified as a part-time delivery driver who worked an average of 25 hours per week and was employed by the Company for 23 of 26 pay periods,” reads Domino’s filing on fiscal 2017.
Ratio: 814 to 1
CEO pay: $US11,050,000
Median worker pay: $US13,582
Then-CEO Steve Ells made 814 times the median Chipotle worker in his last full year as chief executive in 2017.
4. Darden Restaurant (Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse)
Ratio: 871 to 1
CEO pay: $US15,770,151
Median worker pay: $US18,097
According to Darden, the “median employee determined for fiscal 2018 is a part time team member at one of our restaurants.”
Ratio: 1,049 to 1
CEO pay: $13,382,480
Median worker pay: $12,754
Starbucks’ 2018 median worker pay for a “a part-time barista in California,” was $US12,754, including salary and Bean Stock.
2. Yum Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut)
Ratio: 1,358 to 1
CEO pay: $US12,368,607
Median worker pay: $US9,111
Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC, defined its 2017 median worker as a “part-time Taco Bell restaurant employee in the U.S. who was employed by the Company for three months.”
Ratio: 3,101 to 1
CEO pay: $US21,761,062
Worker pay: $US7,017
McDonald’s identified its 2017 median worker as a “part-time restaurant crew employee located in Poland,” after considering all part-time, full-time, seasonal, and temporary workers.
McDonald’s noted that 90% of CEO Steve Easterbrook’s compensation takes the form of “at risk” compensation, which ties pay to the company’s performance. With the company’s value growing by roughly $US36 billion in 2017, Easterbrook’s compensation also exploded.
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